In 1983, two Pennsylvania banks, Pittsburgh National Corp. and Provident National Corp., merged to become PNC Financial Corp. The financial institution ballooned in growth throughout the 1990s and gained a national reach. Today, PNC Bank is a dominating full-service financial institution with locations in much of the U.S.
- Who Is PNC Best For?
- Who May Want To Skip PNC?
- Types of Accounts Available
- How To Bank With PNC
- Availability of Funds
- Is PNC Bank Worth Your Time?
Before opening a bank account with PNC, consider your expectations for a bank as well as your financial needs and goals. Here are some of the pros and cons of banking with PNC:
|Pros and Cons of PNC Bank|
|High-yield savings account with a 2.00% annual percentage yield||Not as many physical branches as some brick-and-mortar banks|
|Variety of money management tools||Certain interest-bearing accounts feature low APYs|
|Many options to waive account fees||Checking accounts typically have monthly service fees|
See the Steps: How To Open a PNC Bank Account
While PNC is more of a traditional brick-and-mortar bank, it still does not have a tremendous physical branch presence across the U.S. For example, PNC currently does not have any physical branches in the West, including California. It is present in the South, mid-Atlantic and Midwest, however.
If you like in-person, traditional banking and do not live in the aforementioned regions, you may want to skip PNC.
Ultimately, location is not everything, and there’s more to consider when deciding who PNC is best and worst for. Here’s a quick glance at who PNC is suitable for, and who might want to explore other banking options:
|Who Is PNC Best For and Worst For?|
|Best For||Worst For|
|Customers who are interested in linking multiple bank accounts||People who want high interest rates for their non-Virtual Wallet checking accounts|
|Clients who prefer in-person customer service and are located near brick-and-mortar branches||Those who overdraw frequently; a $36 fee is charged per overdraft, up to four times per day|
When considering if you want to open an account with PNC, you’ll want to make note of the APY rates and fees associated with the accounts you’re interested in because they will have the most effect on your balance. Consider your specific banking process and your account balances before you decide what is right for you. It’s also important to find the account features that fit your money the best.
Here’s a look at some of the account options PNC offers:
|PNC Bank Checking, Savings and Money Market Accounts|
|Account Type||Features||Monthly Service Fees||Rates|
|Checking||PNC Purchase Payback is a way to earn rewards on your purchases||Performance Select Checking: $25|
Performance Checking: $15
Standard Checking: $7
|Performance Select Checking: 0.01% APY|
Performance Checking: 0.01% APY
Standard Checking: No interest
|Standard Savings||Offers a PNC Banking card and an option for automatic transfers from PNC checking account||$5||0.01% APY|
|PNC High Yield Savings||No minimum opening deposit; $1 minimum balance to earn interest||None||2.00% APY|
|‘S’ is for Savings||Money-related, kid-friendly tips and resources using “Sesame Street” characters||No monthly fee if the account holder is younger than 18 years old||0.01% APY|
|Premiere Money Market||Unlimited deposits; option for automatic transfers from PNC checking account||$12||Standard rate grows with account balance; standard APY of 0.08% on balances of $10,000 to $24,999.99|
There are three PNC checking account options that you can open without an account package. In addition, PNC offers several tiers of Virtual Wallet, including the basic and student versions, Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend and Virtual Wallet with Performance Select. With each version, customers get a primary checking account, an interest-bearing checking account and a long-term savings account. The Virtual Wallet options offer an array of tools to help you manage your funds — but they may not be for you if you don’t like digital banking.
If you only want to set up a checking account, you’ll want to learn about PNC’s offerings that are available outside of the Virtual Wallet lineup. Here’s an overview of what PNC’s stand-alone checking accounts have to offer.
PNC’s Standard Checking is perfect for customers who want a basic, traditional checking account.
- Access to recurring, free bill payments
- Option to avoid monthly fees by keeping a minimum balance of $500
- Ability to earn a higher interest rate on your savings if you link this account to a Standard Savings account
- Unlimited check-writing privileges
- Limited amount of free non-PNC Bank ATM transactions
If you can maintain an average monthly balance of at least $2,000, Performance Checking could be worth your consideration.
- Unlimited check-writing privileges
- Account earns interest with minimum balance of $2,000 or more
- Eligibility for higher relationship rates when linked to Premiere Money Market or Standard Savings account
- Low minimum balance requirement to earn interest
- $15 monthly service charge if your account dips below $2,000 and you don’t meet any other requirements to waive the fee
Performance Select Checking
Performance Select Checking is an option for customers who can maintain a combined average monthly balance of at least $5,000.
- Reimbursed fee charges for non-PNC ATMs
- Monthly fee is waived if you maintain a minimum combined average monthly balance of $5,000 in this account and up to eight eligible linked accounts
- $25 minimum opening deposit
- Stop payments, ATM statements and cashier’s checks are free
- Reimbursement for up to $10,000 in identity theft insurance
- 0.01% APY
Also See: Best Banks of 2020
PNC Bank offers three savings accounts that you can open without getting a Virtual Wallet account package. One option is a “Sesame Street”-themed savings account for kids. Other options are Standard Savings and PNC High Yield Savings accounts for adults. Here’s what you need to know about each account.
PNC’s Standard Savings account is for customers who are looking for a simple savings account experience with an option to set up a recurring, automatic savings transfer.
- Earn higher relationship rates when you link a select PNC checking account
- Offers a PNC Banking card
- $25 minimum opening deposit
- Option to set up recurring, automatic transfers from your PNC checking account into your savings
- Overdraft protection if savings account is linked to a PNC checking account
- Higher balances required for higher relationship rate
PNC High Yield Savings
PNC High Yield Savings is perfect for customers who are looking for high-interest yields with their account balances.
- 2.00% APY
- Account can be opened with any dollar amount
- No monthly service charge
- Low minimum balance of just $1 to earn interest
- $25 fee for closing account within 180 days of opening
- Not available in all markets
Find Out: The Facts on High-Yield Savings Accounts
‘S’ is for Savings
This is a great account for parents who want to teach their children about money and savings.
- Financial learning center featuring tips from “Sesame Street”
- Account balance starts earning interest at $1
- No fees if the account holder is under 18
- Account feature allows user to set savings goals
- $25 minimum opening deposit might be high for some young savers
PNC’s Premiere Money Market account offers customers a great way to earn interest at higher relationship rates and the ability to make unlimited deposits.
- Higher relationship rates are available for eligible customers with a qualifying PNC checking account
- $100 minimum opening deposit
- Interest rate grows along with the growth of your account balance
- Auto-transfer option to help build savings
- Minimum average monthly balance of $5,000 to avoid monthly service fee
- Highest APY rate only available if you have a balance of at least $100,000 and a Performance Select Checking account
If you don’t need constant access to your money, consider a CD to help grow your funds. PNC offers a variety of CD options, including Ready Access CDs, Stepped Rate CDs and fixed-rate, callable and variable-rate options.
- Fixed-rate CD: Way to earn money through interest with minimal risk because the rate is set at the opening deposit
- Ready Access CD: Comes with a fixed rate; ability to access funds after the first seven days
- Callable CD: Above-market rates; can be called by PNC after the first 12 months or 24 months, depending on CD term
- Variable-rate CD: Rate of CD changes quarterly; tied to three-month Treasury bill
- Stepped Rate CD: A 36-month CD with a rate increase every six months; funds can be accessed within a 10-day window following every six-month period
- Ability to earn higher rates than any PNC savings account or money market account
- Ability to put IRA CD in a tax-deferred account to supplement retirement savings
- Money usually cannot be accessed without penalty; depending on the type of CD, early withdrawal penalties are applicable within certain term limits or before full maturity of the CD
PNC offers both Roth and traditional IRAs. Consider the features of both before deciding which one is best for you.
- Traditional IRA: Invest pretax income and then pay taxes when you withdraw money during retirement
- Roth IRA: Invest after-tax income and then withdraw your tax-free money during retirement
Pros and Cons: The pros and cons of PNC’s IRA options depend on how you want to be taxed on your retirement fund and when you want to access your money.
Think about how you want to invest your money and the guidance you may need. Do you want more hands-on advice from a PNC Investments financial advisor or something more customized? Are you looking for short-term or long-term investments? What are your overall investment goals?
PNC offers a variety of investment options to help you meet your specific needs. Here’s a look at what’s available in its lineup of investment products.
- Brokerage accounts: Invest in mutual funds, stocks, bonds and exchange-traded funds
- Advisor-managed accounts: A “set it and forget it” option; accounts are managed by an investment advisor who helps you realize your investment goals
- Stocks, bonds and funds: Help you create and run a diverse portfolio
- Education accounts:
- 529 plan: Tax-deferred investment opportunity sponsored by states or state agencies
- Custodial account: Way to save and invest in your child’s or grandchild’s education; unlimited contributions are permitted
Pros and Cons: The pros and cons of PNC’s investment products depend on your goals and how you like to invest. Speak to a PNC financial advisor to see what is best for you.
Are you buying a home or going to college? Do you want to remortgage or start a big project and need a line of credit? Consider PNC’s loan options to see what may be best for you.
Here’s an overview of some of the main features of the loans PNC offers.
Mortgage Loans and Mortgage Refinancing:
- Fixed-rate mortgage: Offers consistent rate for the whole term of the loan
- Adjustable-rate mortgage: Rate adjusts periodically
- Jumbo loans: Available for amounts above $510,400
- Federal Housing Administration loans: Government loan program that can be more flexible when granting you the loan
- Veterans Affairs loans: Option for veterans, active military, reservists and National Guard members
- Specialized loans: For special home financing situations that do not meet the criteria of other loans offered
Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit:
- Fixed-rate options offer a consistent rate throughout term
- Variable-rate options are available; rate will vary throughout term
- Buy from a dealer
- Buy from a private party
- Buy out a lease
Personal Loans and Lines of Credit:
- Personal loans come with a consistent, fixed rate throughout the loan term
- Personal lines of credit come with a variable rate
Student Loans and Student Loan Refinancing:
- Undergraduate loans for students enrolled in a degree or certificate program
- Loans for graduate or professional students enrolled in a degree or certificate program
- Education refinancing for those who want to combine multiple student loans into one payment
Pros and Cons: The pros and cons of PNC’s loans depend on your financial needs and life goals. Loan rates will vary depending on the term and amount. Figure out what works best for you, and then speak to a PNC financial advisor.
Related: How To Make a PNC Mortgage Payment
Today, banking doesn’t mean you only have the option of visiting a local branch. You can bank with PNC in three ways:
- Find your nearest PNC location and ATM
- Call 1-888-PNC-Bank
- Visit the customer service center at PNC’s website for more options
The most modern way to bank with PNC is digitally. Consider these online options:
- Log in to online banking and visit the Secure Message Center to reach out for assistance via email
- Download PNC’s mobile app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play
- Tweet @PNCBank_Help
Like many other financial institutions, PNC Bank has plenty of fees. But the good news is that most accounts have at least one option to avoid these charges.
- Performance Select Checking: $25 monthly service fee waived with $5,000 combined average monthly balance in PNC Bank checking accounts
- Performance Checking: $15 monthly service fee waived with $2,000 account balance, $10,000 combined average monthly balance in PNC deposit accounts, or $2,000 in qualifying direct deposits
- Standard Checking: $7 monthly service fee waived with $500 account balance or $500 in qualifying direct deposits
Money Market Account:
- Premiere Money Market: $12 monthly service fee waived with $5,000 balance
- Standard Savings: $5 monthly service fee waived if you have a $300 balance, set up a $25 minimum auto savings transfer from a PNC checking account, or are under 18 years old
- ‘S’ is for Savings: $5 monthly service fee waived if you are under 18 years old, have a balance of $300 in this account, or set up a $25 minimum auto savings transfer from a PNC checking account
Learn More: Here’s Your PNC Routing Number
Depending on the type of deposit and the amount you deposit, your funds can be available the same day or within two business days. The initial $100 of any type of deposit you make will be available the evening of your deposit. If you make a large-dollar deposit of $50,000 or more in checks, your funds will be available in full on the second business day after the day you make the deposit.
Funds from these types of deposits are available the same day if they are received before 10 p.m. Eastern time on a business day:
- Cash deposits made at PNC ATMs or to a PNC Bank teller
- Checks or money orders made at PNC
- Wire transfers
- Online transfers
- Zelle or other digital deposits
- Check deposits made via mobile phone and approved using PNC Express Funds
When deciding on whether PNC is for you, review your banking habits and funds to see if they align with what the bank offers. As with other financial institutions, banking with PNC has its pros and cons, including the following:
- Brick-and-mortar branches are available
- Ability to waive account fees
- In-person customer service
- Almost every account has a monthly service fee
- No unique IRA options
Ultimately, PNC is not a unique enough bank to make it stand out among its brick-and-mortar competitors. It also does not compete with online financial institutions, even with its Virtual Wallet account options. You may want to consider banking with PNC, however, if it is located nearby and convenient for you.
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Rates are subject to change. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Nov. 19, 2019.
This content is not provided by PNC Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by PNC Bank.